ICYMI: Aguilar Pens Op-ed in San Bernardino Sun Calling for Continued Commitment to Seniors and Social Security

August 15, 2014

San Bernardino, CA – To honor the 79th Anniversary of the historic signing of the Social Security Act, Redlands Mayor Pete Aguilar, Democratic candidate for Congress in California’s 31st district, penned an op-ed in the San Bernardino Sun yesterday where he promised to stand up for seniors and never allow cuts to Social Security. 

The op-ed can be seen here or read below:

Keeping Our Promise to Seniors

August 14 marks the 79th anniversary of President Roosevelt’s signing of the Social Security Act — the landmark legislation that created the most effective anti-poverty program in our nation’s history.

Social Security is a promise to our seniors — a promise that if you work hard your whole life, you can retire with dignity. Our nation’s seniors have earned their Social Security benefits and we owe it to them to safeguard this program.

Both of my grandmothers, Jennie and Juanita, receive Social Security benefits. They worked in San Bernardino County their entire adult lives, contributing just over 6 percent of their income into Social Security, with the expectation that when the time came for them to retire, that money would be there for them.

Yet Social Security is under constant attack from politicians looking to curry favor with Wall Street. Some have suggested we privatize the program or put Social Security funds into the stock market, forcing seniors to gamble their retirement income. Their hard work must not become a political pawn or a bargaining chip for candidates beholden to Wall Street bankers.

Cutting Social Security benefits to score political points or to balance the budget on the backs of seniors is unacceptable.

Budgets are about priorities. As a small business owner and mayor of Redlands, I know what it takes to balance a budget, and we have balanced the last five here in Redlands. I understand the importance of getting the deficit under control, but we have to do it fairly and responsibly.

The seniors in our community have earned their Social Security benefits, and ensuring the program remains solvent and strong is one of my top priorities. In today’s economy, safeguarding Social Security benefits is particularly important because for so many seniors, it serves as a primary source of income, keeping seniors out of poverty.

As we mark the anniversary of this historic program, we need leaders who will honor the promise made to our nation’s seniors by protecting Social Security.

Pete Aguilar is mayor of Redlands and a candidate for California’s 31st Congressional District.

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8.19.14

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